The story of Riverence trout embodies the story of sustainable trout farming in the United States. It starts with two do-gooders: investors who sought to reduce pressure on wild salmon and trout by providing a sustainable, healthy farmed option.
Because a good fish depends on a good egg, they started by acquiring a trout and salmon egg company in Washington and began refining the quality by selecting the best fish from each generation, creating a better trout specifically for aquaculture. At first, these eggs were sold to other farms, and still are, but soon enough the company sought to expand its operations to test their eggs in the farming environment firsthand. So, eight trout farms in Idaho were purchased and Riverence was born.
As the name implies, Riverence is founded on sustainable, responsible farming practices – the kind that produces fish in harmony with the surrounding environment. Eggs are grown in an RAS (recirculating aquaculture system) facility, one of the most sustainable methods for aquaculture, and the rainbow trout grows in raceways in the land-locked state of Idaho. The company’s land-based aquaculture sidesteps many of the environmental concerns that open water pens face—there’s little chance for interaction with the marine environment, therefore there is no fear of escape, disease transmission, or waste buildup in the ecosystem. Check out photos of the facility here.
Beyond the obvious, Riverence went a step further in raising sustainable, healthy trout. Their fish is grown with no preventive antibiotics, no hormones, no genetic engineering, and on high quality feed that gives the trout its signature bright flesh. In fact, the farm has seen decreased mortality and increased growth rates thanks to their improved eggs. Further, because Riverence is part of a larger company who specializes in the best trout and salmon eggs, their products are fully traceable, from egg to adult to fillet to your table.
Above all, Riverence trout is American. The United States imports approximately 90% of the seafood it consumes, yet the nation has abundant coastline and some of the most well-managed, if recovering, fish stocks in the world. There is enormous potential for aquaculture here, but it has yet to take off. The brains behind Riverence saw this opportunity and seized it – domestic seafood is good for the environment and good for the economy.
In an effort to the join the sustainable seafood campaign that is slowly but surely sweeping over the country, Riverence recently partnered with FishWise, a nonprofit dedicated to improving sustainability in the seafood industry. The brand is also making its way into restaurants, fish markets, and grocery stores as its sustainability and quality is recognized. It certainly helps that Riverence trout is considered a green Best Choice on the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch ratings.
Riverence trout realizes all that consumers want from their seafood: sustainable, traceable, and good for you. The extra steps taken to ensure a healthy, sustainable product can be tasted – Riverence trout is lean but rich, and has no trace of the bland flavor many associate with freshwater fish. It’s just a matter of time before these fillets appear in your local grocery store, if they aren’t already there!